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40 SMT Magazine • December 2014 People take for granted that electronics de- velopment advances at a breathtaking pace— particularly in consumer electronics. But OEMs in telecommunications and mission-critical applications, such as medical and aerospace, are also demanding increased speed and new technology in the PCBs and PCBAs required for complex electronic equipment. Years ago, these advancements in technology would have been developed in many instances by major OEMs. But now, these OEMs have come to depend on EMS providers to make the necessary advances in core technologies and processes in order to deliver these innovations. SMT is evolving as a result of new com- ponents coming into the market. In the early 1980s, a 64-pin ball grid array (BGA) was considered a high pin-count device. In 2014, BGA devices are in production with up to 3,700 terminations. Similarly, bottom- terminated components (BTC) evolved in the 1990s from having just a dozen pins to 200–300 pins today. Meanwhile, pad pitch continues to shrink, going from between 1 mm and 1.5 mm several years ago to production pitches of 0.4 mm or by mulugeta Abtew SAnMinA Surface Mount Technology Advancements in 2015 less today. Pad pitch limitations are driven by various factors, namely PCB via pitch, via tech- nology (e.g., stacked vias) and line pitch cur- rently between 2.5 and 3 mils for most produc- tion PCBs. Another driver is speed, increasing FEATurE Figure 1: High-density BgA with 2597 pins, in production today.

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